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Violence as thousands march in Rome against austerity (PHOTOS)

Published time: April 12, 2014 18:28

A demonstrator is detained by policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

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At least 80 people – both police and protesters – have been injured as street battles broke out in Rome, with rocks being flung and police deploying pepper spray. Thousands took to the street to march against austerity measures.

Blasts and sirens could be heard as a splinter group of masked protesters launched firecrackers, eggs and rocks at police, who defended themselves with shields. One protester had his hand blown off by a firecracker he was yet to throw. At least six people were arrested, police said.

A demonstrator is detained by policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

The march started at roughly 14:00 from Porta Pia, with the crowd stating they were protesting in favor of affordable housing and plans for new labor regulations which would make firing and hiring easier.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is in the process of making mass economic reforms. Youth unemployment has risen to well over 40 percent.

A demonstrator is detained by policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)


“Renzi's labour reforms will worsen the situation for workers without job security, hitting young people when they are already struggling. The rage of the people in the squares today is justified,”
a 23 year old graduate from Modena named Federico Bicerni told Reuters.

Anti riots policemen clash with protesters as thousands of people demonstrate against Italian government and austerity measures on April, 2014 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Italy is still suffering from the effects of austerity measures, budget cuts and mass unemployment.

The Rome-based national statistics office, ISTAT announced at the beginning of April that Italy's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate spiked at 13.0 percent in February, rising from 12.9 percent in January - making it the highest level since records started being kept in 1977.

Demonstrators fight with policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

“Unemployment levels are very high. For the time being people can survive thanks to family support…but this is very thin amount of reserves that families can spend to support their family members. At one point in time this could end and people will just be without anything. No job, no house, and no prospective retirement benefits,” Political Analyst Paolo Raffone told RT.

“Austerity measures as such are extremely painful if they are not followed by some measures to support people,”
he said.

A demonstrator throws a stone at policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

Tens of thousands also marched in France simultaneously. Police stated that some 25,000 joined the protest, while social media estimates placed the figure closer to 100,000.

Protesters in Paris waved banners declaring that “When you are leftist you support employees,” in criticism of Hollande’s business-friendly reforms which are seemingly abandoning the ideals of the left.

Policemen take shelter from bottles and flares thrown by demonstrators during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

Comments (64)

 

Duchess Kat C 14.04.2014 12:42

A govt for the people by the people means it should maybe help the people out. That in an insignificant part of the budget... welfare is 3%? and that's why we're broke? No its not...and if we hadn't pretty much excused the major wage earners from paying their taxes and their corporations from paying taxes... we might have more of a budget to work with... If we didn't let our elected officials to be purchased with the money these people and corporations have bought and paid for....

 

fran7 14.04.2014 06:56

EU is a fast sinking ship as these riots show and the sooner the UK have a referendum on it the better. Nigel Farage knows what he's talking about and he seems to be the only one with a firm no nonsense promise to have a UK referendum ASAP. For this reason alone he has my vote as I'm fed up with the nonsense the Brussels leaders come out with and the latest is to have emergency ambulances sitting outside EU parliament building at our expense (as usual) for the EU leaders benefit. Latvia is hailed as an EU success story but it denies 50% of its Russian speaking people the right to vote as they are classed non citizens.

 

Tim Mahoney 14.04.2014 00:50

[quote name='Mark' time='13.04.2014 23:24']
it 's maths genius, are you in the US? Maths, short for mathematics. understand? Maybe I won't trust your maths on socialism given you can't even abbreviate mathematics successfully.
[/ quote]

In the United States, 'math' is perfectly acceptable. I have never heard anyone call it "maths".

View all comments (64)
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